Vermiculture Lesson Plan

Guided Inquiry Activities for the Study of Worms in the Classroom

A noted lack in lessons that use worms to teach middle school science has been filled by the publication of Vermiculture: Guided Inquiry Activities for the Study of Worms in the Classroom.  The 35 lessons are available for free download.

A “worm bin” is roughly the size of a large storage container and may contain many thousands of redworms (Eisenia foetida). Worm bins are popular with countless homeowners as a way to recycle food leftovers into valuable fertilizer, a technique made popular by the book, “Worms Eat My Garbage”, by Mary Appelhof.  Many teachers also keep worm bins in their classrooms to function as mini-ecosystems, useful for teaching lessons in biology, ecology, math, and recycling.  Once the kids get past the “squeal” stage they find the worms are fascinating critters.

The plans use the “guided inquiry” approach for lessons in biology, ecology, technology, math and more.  The approach stresses journal keeping, research and hypothesis testing.  Some of the lessons require only one bin for the entire class, whole others use mini-bins for small groups of students.  The lessons build on each other but can be used individually.  Each lesson has a list of standards that can be met by the lesson.

The Introduction contains the table of contents, which describes each lesson, and the list of resources.  Comments or questions on specific lessons can be directed to Prof. James Ealy (Professor of Science Education, Cedar Crest College). 

BookWorm Special thank you to:

PA Department of Environmental Protection
Mr. Cary Oshins, U.S. Composting Council
Prof. James Ealy, Cedar Crest College
Ms. Julie B. Ealy, Ph.D.
Ms. Amy Shirf, Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority

Download Lesson Plan